The liver is responsible for breaking down the blood into haem and globin. Red blood cells last about 120 days. When they expire the haemoglobin is broken down in this way. The haem of heme first breaks apart into biliverdin, a green pigment/ This rapidly reduces to bilirubin, which becomes an orangey-yellow pigment known as 'free' bilirubin, a fat-soluble form that is carried to the liver.
The liver receives two different blood vessels- the hepatic artery and the hepatic portal vein. The hepatic artery brings the oxygen from the aorta. The hepatic portal vein brings blood rich in absorbed nutrients. This portal leads from the small intestine.
Blood coming from the small intestine is de-oxygentated. It transverses at a much lower pressure than in the hepatic artery. The hepatic vein carries blood away from the liver into the vena cava, which in turn, carries the blood back to the heart. Blood from the intestines and heart mix together in the liver tissues before flowing back to the heart through the hepatic vein